SBJ/20090921/Coast to Coast

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  • Coast to Coast

    Defenseman Ryan Whitney greeted
    longtime ticket holder Wally Wong
    in the locker room.

    ANAHEIM
    Ducks reward season-ticket holders
    The Anaheim Ducks launched a program for season-ticket holders in which fans can win an “Anaheim Ducks Experience.” As part of the program, 12 account holders were randomly selected to have their season tickets issued in the Ducks locker room by players Corey Perry and Ryan Whitney. Other highlights of the program include a road trip with the team, Zamboni rides, attendance at private club practices and autographed team gear.

    ATLANTA
    Turner, Comcast set up at Falcons Landing
    Turner Network Sales, along with CNN, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network and Comcast, are joining the Atlanta Falcons at Falcons Landing for Comcast Fan Fest this season. Turner programming will be featured at regular-season home games at a co-branded outdoor pavilion outside the Georgia Dome, where activities will be available for fans.

    BATON ROUGE, LA.
    Cox extends LSU sponsorship
    Cox Communications signed a five-year extension of its sponsorship with LSU Sports Properties through the summer of 2015. The original deal signed in 2005 made Cox the first corporate member of Team LSU. Cox will have premium signage in all LSU athletic facilities; radio, TV, Internet and game programming ads; game sponsorship benefits, tickets and hospitality access.

    BOSTON
    Sox receiving philanthropy award
    The Boston Red Sox Foundation will receive the 2009 Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy, which highlights and promotes the effects of strategic, community-oriented giving in professional sports. Over the past seven years, the foundation has invested more than $28 million in philanthropic efforts across New England.

    BUFFALO
    Bills honoring top teachers
    The Buffalo Bills and M&T Bank began a “Touchdown for Teachers” program. For the Nov. 29 home game with the Miami Dolphins, five finalists will each receive two tickets to the game, in-game recognition during pregame festivities and an official Buffalo Bills game ball. Honorees are chosen based on their amount of involvement in the school or community, their degree of positive impact and their demonstrated commitment to education.

    CHAPEL HILL, N.C.
    Tar Heels mark 100 years of hoops
    The University of North Carolina unveiled a logo celebrating 100 years of Carolina basketball at a Pro Alumni Game held this month at the Smith Center. The logo was featured on the alumni teams’ uniforms and T-shirts. It has also been painted on the court, where it will remain throughout the season. The logo was designed by Old Hat Creative.

    CHICAGO
    Michelle Obama packs for Copenhagen
    First lady Michelle Obama will serve as an ambassador for Chicago 2016 when it states its case to play host to the 2016 Olympics on Oct. 2 in Copenhagen. White House officials said President Barack Obama informed International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge that the effort to pass health care reform keeps him from committing at this time to travel to Copenhagen, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

    Park district will fund slalom course
    The Chicago Park District has committed to kicking in $20 million to help build a canoe and kayak slalom course on Northerly Island if the city is chosen to host the Olympics, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. Northerly Island juts into Lake Michigan just east of Soldier Field.

    CINCINNATI
    Bengals bank with Fifth Third
    Fifth Third Bank signed a sponsorship agreement to become the new official bank of the Cincinnati Bengals. The deal will provide Fifth Third signs inside and outside the stadium, as well as Fifth Third ATMs at the stadium. Fifth Third will also get TV, radio, print and Web advertising. Fifth Third replaces National City Bank as the team’s official bank.

    Track drops races, lowers purse
    Turfway Park dropped four stakes races from its fall meet and lowered the purse on a marquee race. It’s shifting the saved purse money to boost purses on daily races. It cut two stakes races from its Kentucky Cup Day of Champions, which will continue to have three other stakes races. But the purse on one, the Kentucky Cup Classic, will plunge from $350,000 to $200,000. That event is slated for Saturday.

    COLUMBUS
    Jackets partner with Atlas Butler
    The Columbus Blue Jackets and Atlas Butler formed a corporate partnership that will align the central Ohio heating and cooling company with the team through the 2010-11 season. The agreement encompasses radio and television broadcast inventory, in-arena messaging and execution of the “Oldest Furnace Contest” during the winter months.

    DALLAS
    MetroPCS names annual marathon
    MetroPCS Communications Inc. will be the title sponsor of this year’s Dallas White Rock Marathon. The Dec. 13 event will be called the MetroPCS Dallas White Rock Marathon presented by NexBank. The primary beneficiary of the weekend’s events will be Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

    GREEN BAY
    Packers pour a morning Blitz
    The Green Bay Packers are commemorating their 90th anniversary with a breakfast cereal called Breakfast Blitz, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The cereal is available throughout Wisconsin exclusively at Pick ’n Save and Copps stores operated by Roundy’s Supermarkets.

    KANSAS CITY
    Royals bark up a new promotion
    The Kansas City Royals are hosting the first Bark at The K event at Kauffman Stadium on Sunday when the Royals close out their home schedule against the Minnesota Twins. A Bark at The K ticket package includes two tickets (one human ticket and one canine ticket), a Royals Dog Bowl and a donation to the Greater Kansas City Humane Society, Half Way Home Pet Adoptions and Wayside Waifs. Bark at The K is presented by Kansas City Veterinary Care, Stinkies and Paw Prints the Magazine.

    New casino proposal lands at track
    Kansas Speedway and Penn National Gaming have joined forces behind a single proposal for a Hollywood-themed casino adjacent to the racetrack, according to a report in The Kansas City Star. The $700 million project, if approved by state regulators, would overlook Turn 2 at the speedway and include a resort hotel in its second phase, according to the report.

    Wizards stadium proposal on table
    A new proposal is on the table for a Kansas City Wizards stadium on land owned by Nebraska Furniture Mart near the Kansas Speedway. Owen Buckley, president of Lane4Property Group Inc., the developer for Wizards owner OnGoal, said that the proposed $400 million project near the speedway would include 600,000 square feet of office space.

    LOUISVILLE, KY.
    BEST, StarGames to develop new events
    Blue Entertainment Sports Television formed a partnership with sports and entertainment firm StarGames to develop new sporting events and sports properties. StarGames has produced sporting events such as the BNP Paribas Showdown tennis tournament and Nancy Kerrigan’s Halloween on Ice. It also operates Ivan Lendl’s Champions Academy in Sarasota, Fla. BEST is a division of Louisville-based Blue Equity.

    Marlins President David Samson was
    all smiles for the pouring-in ceremony
    Sept. 11.

    MIAMI
    ‘Super columns’ take shape for Marlins
    The Florida Marlins performed the first vertical concrete pour for the “super columns” of their new ballpark. The pour constituted the first 16 feet of a 40-foot tall rebar cage. When complete, the elliptical shaped column will stand 8 feet wide by 15 feet long and will rise to 130 feet. The column is one of the 12 that will support the 8,300-ton retractable roof structure. Opening Day is scheduled for April 2012.

    MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL
    Arena installing digital menu boards
    Wireless Ronin Technologies signed a deal with the Minnesota Wild to provide digital menu boards throughout the Xcel Energy Center. The 89 RoninCast digital menu boards, to be installed prior to the Wild’s Oct. 6 home opener, will be placed across three levels of the arena. The boards will give Levy Restaurants the flexibility to adjust menu offerings.

    NASHVILLE
    Preds unveil jersey in Swift fashion
    The Nashville Predators’ new third jersey was revealed Sept. 12 when country singer Taylor Swift donned the sweater during the encore portion of her concert at Sommet Center, according to a report in The (Nashville) Tennessean. The report quoted Tim Darling, the team’s communications director: “We were trying to think of a good way to build up some buzz on the jersey.”

    NEW ORLEANS
    Saints partner with Copeland’s
    Copeland’s restaurants formed a new partnership with the New Orleans Saints. Copeland’s will become an official sponsor of the team and receive branding in one of the Superdome’s club lounges. The lounge, named “Club Copeland’s,” and three other club lounges will serve selections from Copeland’s restaurants.

    NEW YORK
    Mets to expand Fanwalk with more bricks
    The New York Mets will expand the Citi Field Fanwalk outside the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and include a new offering of bricks that will be installed along the first and third base sides of the ballpark for the 2010 season. The new offering follows the sellout of more than 18,000 Fanwalk bricks prior to this year’s inaugural season at the venue. Fans will be able to purchase bricks in three sizes, ranging in price from $195 to $395.

    PETERSBURG, VA.
    IHRA coming back to motorsports park
    Virginia Motorsports Park is returning to the International Hot Rod Association’s family of tracks. The facility returns to the IHRA lineup after a four-year stint with the NHRA and will immediately fall back into rotation hosting Nitro Jam and Thunder Jam events in 2010.

    PHOENIX
    Suns cut ticket prices on outdoor game
    The Phoenix Suns will offer some half-price tickets for the second NBA outdoor preseason game at Indian Wells Tennis Garden, featuring the Suns and the Golden State Warriors. Half-price tickets for the Oct. 10 game will start at $25.

    PIR partners with spirits maker
    Phoenix International Raceway is teaming with Rhythm Liqueur in a new deal. Rhythm Liqueur will be available for fans to sample during the Nov. 12-15 NASCAR Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 weekend at the facility. The company also will unveil for fans at the track a signature drink dubbed the Phoenix Sunrise.

    QUANTICO, VA.
    Marathon using online tutorials
    The Marine Corps Marathon has introduced online tutorials to guide its 30,000 runners and estimated 150,000 spectators through race weekend. By using software from Brainshark Inc., marathon officials aim to deliver information about the Oct. 25 event to participants and spectators faster and more effectively than in years past. Previously, organizers conveyed much of this information in the race program, distributed during race weekend.

    SAN ANTONIO
    Spurs promote HOF ticket package
    The San Antonio Spurs are offering a ticket package that pays tribute to newly inducted hall of famer David Robinson. The package includes five games for $50, reflecting Robinson’s jersey number and including the team’s David Robinson Tribute Night, with a game against Philadelphia on Nov. 29. The other four games, all in December, are against Boston, Sacramento, Miami and the Los Angeles Clippers.

    SUNRISE, FLA.
    SSE seeks debt restructuring
    Sunrise Sports & Entertainment has asked Broward County to restructure its debt on the county-owned BankAtlantic Center to provide the Florida Panthers with some financial relief, according to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. SSE also had requested a $2 million short-term loan from the county, but SSE President Michael Yormark said that the company is no longer seeking the loan, according to the report.

    The grass issue at BMO Field will go
    before the Toronto City Council next week.

    TORONTO
    Toronto FC eyes natural grass at BMO
    Toronto FC’s pitch to put down grass at BMO Field has cleared its first major hurdle with the city. The board of governors of Exhibition Place voted overwhelmingly in favor of a proposal by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment to spend $5.5 million to replace the FieldTurf at the city-owned stadium in time for next season’s first home game, according to a report in the Toronto Star.

    Airline suing over flight restrictions
    Air Canada filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., against U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood over his department’s decision to ban the airline’s sports team charters from making multiple stops in the United States, according to a report in The (Toronto) Globe and Mail. If the dispute is not resolved, NHL clubs will not be able to play more than one game in the United States or Canada without first returning to their home country.

    Arena revamp includes outdoor viewing
    The centerpiece of Air Canada Centre’s ongoing $44.5 million renovation is a 50-by-30-foot high-definition outdoor screen on the west side of the building, according to a report in the Toronto Star. The screen is part of a pedestrian plaza and new entrance to the arena and provides a gathering place for fans without tickets to watch games.

    TUSCALOOSA, ALA.
    BB&T follows Auburn with ‘Bama
    BB&T Corp. signed a deal with the University of Alabama to sponsor its football program two weeks after agreeing to a marketing pact with the school’s in-state rival, Auburn University. The deal includes title sponsorship of the “BB&T Halftime Report” during football games. The bank also will sponsor the university’s men’s basketball and baseball teams.

    Send your Coast to Coast news to: CoastToCoast@sportsbusinessjournal.com
    or phone (704) 973-1436.

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